Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
The lofty ideals of Angels & Men often fall short in what a single woman can produce; a job for two men perhaps but every woman is easily worth two of her counterparts and in the voice of the erstwhile Kate Rusby, those same messengers of a god and the men who rejoice in their passion are greeted with a set of songs that are not only heavenly, but are given the very essence of a humanity via a voice that praises with genuine understanding and joy.
Angels & Men, perhaps a salute to all that is good at Christmas, Yorkshire and Folk music in one all encompassing album. There is no doubting the sentiment and the gentleness that comes through each song, delivered by a band of absolute quality and not by a jolly fat man to whom the feelings of thanks are normally attributed. This is a Yorkshire Christmas thanks, one filled with the idea of steaming cups of tea, of brass bands chiming out a tune to those walking in the snow and huddling against the bitterness of cold and delusion of Government.
If the weather outside is truly frightful then finding a space in your heart for Kate Rusby’s latest album is imperative, to be amongst the gentleness but spirited voice is a present in itself, a sense of wonder that transcends the ornamental and instead offers a proper festive outlook, a bag full of good company, of nights by the fireplace, of song, closeness to your loved ones and without a single bauble in sight.
In songs such as the opening tracks Hark Hark, The Ivy and the Holly, See Amid The Winter Snow, We’ll Sing Hallelujah, Santa Never Brings Me A Banjo and arguably one of the most beautiful and entertaining songs of 2017 in Big Brave Bill Saves Christmas, Kate Rusby once again produces an album steeped in the traditional fused with the contemporary and one that is a pleasure to listen to.
In the world of Angels & Men Kate Rusby floats above them all.
Ian D. Hall